Metal & Racism: How Many More Chances for Phil Anselmo?

Last week, concert footage showed Phil Anselmo – former lead singer of Pantera, and currently in the band Down – sieg heiling and yelling “White Power!”

At first, Anselmo said it was a joke and he would not apologize. So unsurprisingly this is not the first time Anselmo has been involved in promoting racism and oppression. According to Metal Hammer:

The unpalatable truth, however, beyond Anselmo’s iconic image is that the man has ‘previous’ in this area. Following the release of 1994’s Far Beyond Driven album, the singer was interviewed by MTV about allegations of racist undertones in his lyrics. Wearing a T-shirt from the controversial New York crossover band Carnivore depicting three interlocking number 7s – a symbol employed by the South African white supremacist Afrikaner Resistance Movement – Anselmo dismissed the accusation but stopped short of condemning Pantera fans who shouted “White Power” at gigs, saying “I ain’t them kids, and them kids are going to yell what they’re going to yell anyway.”

In March 1995, during a Pantera show in Montreal, the then 26-year-old Anselmo told the crowd that while “Pantera are not a racist band” and that he and his bandmates had friends “of all colours and all kinds”, he had a problem with rap artists “pissing all over white culture”. Furthermore, Anselmo continued, pleas from the African-American community to end ‘Black on Black crime’ should be interpreted as “it’s okay to kill white people”: white people, the singer insisted, needed to take more pride in who they are.

“Tonight,” Anselmo concluded, “is a white thing.”

The singer later apologised for his rant, and the “harmful words that may have racially offended our audience”, but the controversy dogged him for years. In recent years, in his more reflective moments, Anselmo – a thoughtful man, for all his bullish, anti-intellectual John Doe bravado – was not slow to acknowledge the power of symbolism and speech to propagate hatred and division. In a 2015 interview with the Hard Rock Haven website the singer admitted that “with hindsight” he wouldn’t have incorporated a Confederate flag in the cover artwork of Superjoint Ritual’s debut album, and conceded that some of the lyrical content on the band’s second album A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred (which on Stealing A Page Or Two From Armed And Radical Pagans railed against “the coward Muḥammad” and “Jewish elitists”) was “regrettable.”

This has seemed to finally created a public debate among fans of metal – a genre which has its very own subgenre of explicitly neo-Nazi bands (NSBM) – about exactly what they are going to tolerate.

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn made a very poignant video addressing Anselmo’s behavior which is well worth a watch.

Shortly thereafter, and seeing his career sinking before his eyes, Anselmo made an incredibly unreflective apology, saying alcohol was the cause of the Hitler salute, and begging his fans to “gimme another chance.”

Sometime people should be given another chance; we’ve seen boneheads leave the White Power scene and become anti-racist activists. But why should Anselmo get yet another chance? What is this – his fourth, fifth, sixth… tenth, twentieth time?

The Dutch music festival FortaRock has pulled Anselmo’s current band, Down, from their upcoming line up.  This is a good start.

The metal community has given Anselmo many, many chances: it’s time to stop talking about forgiveness and start talking about giving him No Platform. No shows, no interviews, no radio play, no nothing.

Posted in Culture, United States | Tagged , , , , ,

NYPD’s Racist Brethren: Long Island Cops Gone Wild

ACABSpecial guest post from our antifascist comrades on Long Island.

In 2015, police in the United States have killed nearly 1,000 people. In December, as protests raged at the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the cover-up of the police murder of Laquan Mcdonald, the city cops gunned down a mother of five simply for answering her door. Juries did not issue indictments in either the Sandra Bland or the Tamir Rice case. Meanwhile, on Long Island, the police are the same—only instead of protests, shutdowns, riots, and fighting back, the quaint white picket fences of conservatism shield the cops from any scrutiny and backlash.

Several weeks ago, former Suffolk County police chief James Burke was arrested for a 2012 cover-up involving him beating a handcuffed suspect who had allegedly stolen items out of his vehicle. Burke was later indicted on a laundry list of corruption charges—including seeking “retribution” against officers viewed as “disloyal” to his cover-up, which caused the judge to deny him bail.

Also in December 2015, Nassau County officer Vincent LaGoudice was found not guilty for his assault of Kyle Howell, a 20-year-old black man—despite video evidence which captured the officer kicking and beating the victim at a traffic stop. The assault, which occurred in April 2014, resulted in nerve damage, a broken cheekbone, and a fractured nose for Howell, who is still recovering a year-and-a-half later, even thought LaGoudice sustained no injuries. Howell and his family were also forced to face down the police union and the cop’s other supporters, who jeeringly labeled him “Vindicate Vinny” as they made their way to the courtroom.

In Suffolk County, a little over a year apart, two Latina women were found hanged in the woods, and the police declared their deaths suicides, but with little or no investigation into the circumstances. In September 2014, a young Latina woman, Andrea Gabriela Armijos, was found hanged—but police never called in the homicide unit or cordoned off the area, despite another set of footprints found intertwined with hers. The family of the 21-year-old also never received a translator. (A month before her death, Armijos emigrated to the United States in order to be closer to her sister and had recently gotten a job as a hairdresser.)

In October 2015, Lilia Aucapina, age 40, was also found hanged in a different set of woods in Suffolk County. Aucapina was a survivor of domestic violence and had filed for an order of protection against her ex-husband. She was last seen by her ex-husband and brother walking with a man into the woods where she was later found dead. Despite these factors—which the family thought would require further investigation—the police ruled her death a suicide.

Both Aucapina and Armijos were from the East End in Suffolk County. The lack of investigation into their deaths would not be the first time Suffolk County police have looked the other way when immigrants have died under suspicious and violent circumstances. Suffolk County has also been criticized in the past for its handling of the case of a day laborer sodomized to death in the woods several years ago.

As we reported in August 2015, there has been a resurgence of anti-immigrant racism and Klan activity on Long Island. This resurgence is directly tied to the police: the racism and violence of the police as an institution—especially against immigrants and people of color—can be seen not just in their own physical attacks, but in their failure to investigate the deaths and assaults on immigrants, all of which creates a favorable environment for white supremacist groups to thrive.

Heading into 2016, we say, always, ACAB!

Posted in Chicago, New York state, Police | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

#4thPrecinctShutown in Minneapolis attacked by racist trolls

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“SaigaMarine” and “BlackPowderRanger”, racists who had been harassing the #4thPrecinctShutdown ahead of last night’s shooting

Last night a group of 3-4 men opened fire on our comrades at the #4thPrecinctShutdown in Minneapolis. They had been harassing the camp for days, releasing videos of themselves brandishing guns inside their SUV, spouting racial slurs, and telling their online audience to “stay white.” Fully aware of their white supremacist leanings, protesters formed a defense committee to remove them the next time they showed. When they refused to leave or identify themselves, things got violent. The racists ran, and when they were far enough away, they opened fire on the protesters.

Police responded by shutting down the street and pepper-spraying the crowd, potentially delaying ambulance response time. Up to 5 were hit, one seriously, although all are expected to survive. The group seems to have been organized by regulars on 4chan’s politics and weapons forums. White supremacist 4chan regulars also coordinated last week’s White Student Union hoax. As of Tuesday, the police say they have arrested two suspects.

The protest is a response to the police murder of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man who many witnesses say was handcuffed and face-down on the ground when executed by Minneapolis police. Per usual, the police and their supporters want us to believe Clark was reaching for the officer’s weapon. Among other demands, protesters want to see the police video of the incident.

In a similar case in Chicago, a man named Laquan McDonald was murdered by officer Jason Van Dyke, who has a well-documented history of racism and brutality while in uniform. The police force, including the several other cops who were at the scene defended Van Dyke until dash-cam footage of him pumping dozens of rounds into McDonald was ordered released to the public by a Cook County judge. Only once the video began to circulate was Van Dyke arrested and charged with first degree murder.

One of many battle grounds in the growing movement to end police killings and to assert the dignity of black lives in a white-supremacist society, the Minneapolis protesters have survived constant attacks by the police, divide-and-conquer efforts by politicians, and intense cold. Even after taking live fire, they’re still there. They have our total solidarity.

A rally has been called for Weds November 25 at 6pm in Washington Square Park: https://facebook.com/events/868886676513181

 

Posted in Call To Action, Events, Solidarity, United States | Tagged , ,

Queer Fascism: Why White Nationalists Are Trying to Drop Homophobia

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Jack Donovan, gay proponent of “anarcho-fascism.” Sound familiar?

The National Policy Institute’s conference for 2015 just wrapped up, one of the most popular intellectual events for the white nationalist movement in the United States.  NPI is run by youngish nationalist Richard Spencer, who encourages the movement to be hip and young.  Out of the almost 175 attendees, a huge portion of them were millennials as they were given significant discounts off of the expensive ticket price.  One person that was disinvited, according to associate Scott Terry and even Spencer himself, was the Traditionalist Youth Network’s Matthew Heimbach.  Matt, who helped to found the Townson University White Student Union before forming Trad Youth, has made statements publicly about queer people infecting others with AIDs purposefully and that they need to be put in “re-education” camps to cure their “mental illness.”  Because of these statements, Spencer decided that he should be banned from the NPI conference.

Our conferences will include people who hold many different views on religious, social, sexual, historical, and political matters. We do not exclude anyone for, say, being a Buddhist, Pagan, Catholic, or atheist, or for being passionate about gay issues or thinking that they are not important. We hope that such questions can be discussed respectfully at our conferences.

NPI will, however, exclude those who show reckless disregard with the media, or those who’ve made morally indefensible public statements. Such people make our movement look bad. We choose not to grant them a platform.  It’s as simple as that.

This position from Spencer, which sounds more like liberal apologetics than the defenses of someone on the radical right, may sound surprising.  It is less surprising when seeing the queer writer and advocate for “male tribalism,” Jack Donovan, is one of the NPI speakers.  Donovan is well-known for his book Androphilia, where he advocated that “homosexual men” drop the gay identity because it is associated with effeminacy, leftist politics, and feminism.  Today he is celebrated in Men’s Rights circles, talking about reclaiming masculinity and creating tribalism against capitalism and the state and in the recreation of hierarchies.  Spencer himself has discussed queer issues with Donovan many times, where he thinks that gay marriage is a “non-issue” and that we should just move on about the conflict.

Read the rest of the article at Anti-Fascist News

Posted in Uncategorized

“Nazi Past of Long Island Hamlet Persists in a Rule for Home Buyers”

While the parades are gone and the streets have been renamed, one thing has not changed: The original owners of this tract of land kept a clause in its bylaws requiring the homeowners to be primarily “of German extraction.” That has kept this community of 45 families almost entirely white.

It has also left one family frustrated and headed to court to challenge the bylaws. Philip Kneer and Patricia Flynn-Kneer, a couple who lived in a two bedroom, ranch-style home along the main road, are suing the community organization that owns the land under their house, the German American Settlement League, alleging that the league’s housing practices are discriminatory and violate the Fair Housing Act. The complaint was filed on Monday in Federal District Court in Central Islip.

read the full article on the New York Times website

Posted in New York state